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Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

“Without justice there can be no love.” There’s something incredibly special about a book that is both politically powerful yet therapeutic, both critical and healing. bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love: New Visions is one of these. Exploring the psychological and social complexities of love in the modern world, bell hooks offers “a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power.” She shares incredible critical insight about a wide range of topics: the patriarchal values that shape relationships, the harmful connotations of the ideal family, and how male-written self-help books often feed into women’s insecurities, rather than boosting their confidence. All About Love is a genuinely helpful read — one that can revolutionise your thinking about the wider world and give realistic advice about caring for yourself and others in everyday life. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

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Reviews in Retrospect: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

None of James Baldwin’s books express passion, tenderness and grief as well as If Beale Street Could Talk (1974). After I read Baldwin’s Another Country (1962) during lockdown, I made it my mission to read every one of his novels, his writing completely struck me. Of-course his novels remain extremely relevant to the present day, they focus on questions surrounding sexuality, race, and religion which art and literature continues to confront. However, it was the soul and passion in his writing which had me consuming one book after another. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

Cooking and Conversation

They say the first sign of insanity is talking to yourself, but for me it is a sign I’m cooking. I admit, there is a certain flair of insanity to my culinary methods. I defy measuring, exchange ingredients routinely, and follow recipes how I follow most advice – listening but rarely enacting. Cooking is a language for me. I’ve confessed and drank wine with Nigella, I’ve laughed and ranted with Ramsay, and I’ve questioned Oliver on many occasions. Cooking is a warm hello in the shape of tender meat and clouds of mash, it is an apology sweetened with strawberries, it is a declaration of love infused with chillies, and it is a get well soon in the shape of a bowl of garden vegetable soup. Continue reading Cooking and Conversation

love in the time of Corona : part i

I think I fell in love three times during the escape. This was all unexpected. A few months ago, I was intending to go to Edinburgh, way up north from England. One harmonious night, in a local, crowded bar in London, I met this old man who had his dog outside at the entrance, almost boozed out but conscious enough to intuitively like or dislike a person. Continue reading love in the time of Corona : part i

Love in the Time of Corona

They say the first few months of a new relationship is the getting to know one another phase, the honeymoon phase, the we’re going to stay together forever stage. It is a blissful beginning decorated in dates and coloured in clichés. What is not expected, advisable or even preferable is to start a relationship when a national pandemic is declared. Continue reading Love in the Time of Corona

Coping with the New Long-Distance: Relationships in Lockdown

Long-distance is a daunting concept. More often than not this word is filled with myth and misunderstanding. During the current situation, many of us have now been thrust into (short-term!) long-distance relationships without a lot of choice which can be quite scary. But maintaining a healthy, sexy, loving relationship is absolutely possible from a distance – it’s just about adapting to your new circumstances. Continue reading Coping with the New Long-Distance: Relationships in Lockdown

My Culture Comforts: Normal People by Sally Rooney

It’s hardly surprising, as a third year English student, that my main comfort at home is our family bookcase. My current favourite, which I’ve been rereading over the past week is Sally Rooney’s Normal People, published in August of 2018. Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends is also worth a read! Normal People is centred around the lives of two teenagers – Marianne and Connell, very much in love, whose ‘will they/won’t they’ conundrum becomes the tie which echoes throughout the novel, and is something that readers can’t help but become emotionally attached to. What’s more, the novel’s main themes of love and loss, endurance through hardship, personal growth and self-discovery are so prevalent, especially in our current climate. Watch out for the television adaptation of the novel which is said to be coming out soon! Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Review: Love is Blind

Netflix’s Love is Blind (2020) places a handful of attractive singles in isolated pods to get to know each other over ten days, by talking to each other. Yes, talking. That thing you used to do before you realised swiping on Tinder was less effort. Conversations range from the inane (“what do you think about dogs in the bed?”) to the painfully deep (“I became my own masculine influence in my life”), and in a way only Americans can achieve (us Brits are far too emotionally repressed). People actually connect. Guys, there’s a proposal on day five. DAY FIVE. “I’ve had meals in my refrigerator longer than that. That’s crazy!” Amen. Continue reading Review: Love is Blind